Foreign Affairs and Defence

Part of the debate – in the House of Commons at 11:49 am on 18th May 2005.

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Photo of Douglas Alexander Douglas Alexander Minister of State (Europe) 11:49 am, 18th May 2005

I will come to the point that my hon. Friend raised, if he will allow me to answer. The first requirement was to establish the facts in Uzbekistan relating to what may be an emerging problem over what may be an humanitarian crisis affecting Kyrgyzstan. As we have argued in recent days, that makes the case for ensuring that not just the British ambassador but the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees gains immediate access, so that whatever support is needed on the border with Kyrgyzstan can be provided. If it would help, I will certainly take up the matter with the Foreign Secretary and write to my hon. Friend after the debate.

I turn to a more general subject: conflicts outside the area of Uzbekistan. Conflicts are a source of major human suffering and a breeding ground for terrorism, organised crime and illegal immigration. They have a direct impact on all our security.

The conflict between Israel and the Palestinians continues to generate quite appalling human suffering on both sides—